Richard Parks (Dick) Lake 1922-2012

Richard Parks (Dick) Lake of Spearfish, South Dakota, formerly of Tuscola, Illinois, died at 11:30 p.m., Wednesday, April 4, 2012, at the Champaign County Nursing Home.

Dick was born April 14, 1922, in Effingham County, Illinois, the oldest child of Samuel Parks Lake and Delores Woody Lake. He moved with his family to Tuscola at the age of four. He graduated from Tuscola High School in 1939. Dick later attended the University of Illinois.

Dick developed a passion for flying as a teenager, trading his motorcycle for flying lessons. He enlisted in the US Air Force following Pearl Harbor. He flew over 140 combat missions in the South Pacific during World War II. He left the Air Force in 1950.

After the Air Force, Dick returned to Tuscola and married his hometown sweetheart, Kay Rubart, on July 1, 1950. They had two children, Gary Richard and Jeri Ann. Kay preceded him in death on August 26, 1992.

Together with his brother, Kern Owen, Dick started Lake Construction. He continued to build in the Tuscola area into his seventies.

In 1975 Dick became acquainted with Habitat for Humanity while on a mission trip to South Carolina. He led Habitat work crews from the Tuscola area for many years, including adult and youth groups. He was a construction supervisor on several Jimmy Carter Habitat builds, helped Habitat repair damage from Hurricane Hugo, and led construction on the first Habitat Collegiate Challenge in Cahoma, Mississippi. While on a Habitat build at the World Headquarters in Americus, Georgia, Dick met his second wife, Doris Reynolds Vore, of Sundance, Wyoming. They were married in Tuscola, January 7, 1995.

Dick was an avid Illini fan, a dedicated golfer, and a master wood craftsman. He was seldom happier than when he was flying. Most of all, Dick loved his family.

Dick is survived by his second wife, Doris; his children, Gary Lake (Donna) of Caldicot, Colorado, and Jeri Lake (Steve Rayburn) of Champaign, Illinois; his step-children, Ted Vore (Dixie) of Spearfish, Janet Lund (Jim) of Casper, Wyoming, Dan Vore (Mary) of Beulah, Wyoming, and Tom Vore (Suzie) of Newcastle, Wyoming; seven beloved grandchildren; five great-grandchildren; his sisters-in-law, Barb Lake of Tuscola, and Joyce Allen of Bellville; and numerous very special nieces, nephews, and great-nieces and nephews. He was preceded in death by his parents, his wife Kay, his brother K.O, and one great-granddaughter.

A memorial service was held on Monday, April 9, 2012, at the Tuscola United Methodist Church, Tuscola, IL, with Rev. Patty Johansen and Rev. Michael Eischen officiating. Burial will be in the Tuscola Township Cemetery.

Memorial gifts may be made to Habitat for Humanity or Tuscola United Methodist Church.

Hilligoss Shrader Funeral Home, 705 South Main Street, Tuscola, IL is handled the arrangements. Online condolences may be sent via